Updated: Jun 12
Are you caring for an elderly loved one or an in-home care provider in Houston, TX? If so, you’ve probably noticed a few issues that commonly occur. For those who are new to home care services, check out our list below for eight common issues that occur with senior citizens.
As your family members age, you may begin to notice signs. They could appear to be nothing, but it’s important to investigate them just to be sure. Minute changes can turn out to be symptoms of something quite serious.
These issues can affect their quality-of-life, and if they aren’t addressed, they can lead to a loss of independence. If you find yourself providing home health care for a senior, keep these signs in mind.
1. Dizzy Spells
When an elderly person frequently feels dizzy, it can cause difficulty walking and make them a fall risk. There are numerous causes behind sudden feelings of dizziness. When it happens frequently, it’s important to ensure that they consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Falls technically aren’t a medical condition, but they are definitely something that any home caregivers need to be aware of. Falling has become one of the main sources of injury in the elderly. Preventative measures should always be taken to reduce the chances of a fall. If the individual you are caring for is a fall risk, consider these measures: reduce tripping hazards and be aware of any medication that may cause dizziness.
Osteoporosis is an extremely common condition, and it can be found in many individuals over the age of 65. Someone with osteoporosis gradually loses bone density and strength until their bones become brittle and weak, making them more susceptible to breaks. As an in-home care provider, ensuring proper nutrition and a regular exercise regimen will help to lessen the impact of this condition.
Our experience with in-home care has shown us that the elderly often eat less than younger individuals. On its own, this isn’t a major issue that should concern an experienced caregiver. The caloric needs of an older person are often lower than that of a younger person.
However, it is important for a care provider to know the difference between reduced caloric intake and reduced nutrients. Eating less is okay, but when they aren’t receiving the nutrients they need, it becomes dangerous. Elderly people have a greater need for certain nutrients. Stay alert for any changes in weight or sudden loss of appetite.
5. Trouble Sleeping
As individuals age, it is quite common for their sleep habits to change. While a minor decrease in the amount of sleep needed each day isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, remain alert for any sudden or drastic changes. This includes trouble falling asleep.
Trouble with sleep can contribute to an increased risk of dizziness, falling, and health risks. There are many causes behind sleep problems, so it’s important for this issue to be discussed with a doctor.
6. Bladder Control
Incontinence can have an array of causes, and they vary in seriousness. If you are caring for someone who begins to have issues holding their urine, it may be indicative of a more serious issue. Hopefully treatment of the underlying problem will resolve the incontinence. This problem is often treatable and generally improves upon treatment.
7. Issues with Swallowing
Occasionally elderly people develop issues with swallowing their food. There are many causes behind this, but it can also result in them not being able to obtain the right amounts or quality of nutrients. It also leads to choking because the difficulty swallowing may force the food into the windpipe instead of the esophagus.
8. Hearing Loss
This is one of the most common issues that people face as they age. While it isn’t necessarily problematic in terms of their overall health, it is an annoyance that affects their quality of life. Hearing loss can be treated to an extent, so if you know someone struggling with this, ensure they seek treatment.
In-Home Care and Your Loved Ones
Aging comes with its own set of challenges and health hazards. While these are common issues, we all face our own health problems as we age. By keeping an eye out for these problems, though, an in-home care provider can ensure that the people they care for live a fuller and happier life.
If you have any questions or concerns about care for the elderly, Chrysalis Spectrum offers a variety of personalized care services available. Our trained caregivers are ready to assist people and improve their quality of life.